Ending the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle

Today's approaches to funding aren't building strong grantee organizations. Let’s change that.


Five Foundation Leaders Address the "Starvation Cycle"

By Jeri Eckhart-Queenan, Michael Etzel, and Julia Silverman

Presidents of five leading foundations have agreed to experiment with practices and policies to address chronic underfunding of their grantees’ indirect costs. Said one president: “We have engaged because we have a responsibility to put forward solutions. That’s a breakthrough.”

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Download the full report Momentum for Change: Ending the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle

This article and those below are from Bridgespan's supplement on ending the nonprofit starvation cycle in the September 2019 issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The Best Solutions Have a Compelling Story Behind Them

By Jeffrey Moore

Many nonprofit leaders don’t know how to talk about their true costs. Making the case for better funding formulas requires nesting the need in a bigger story about the impact of nonprofits in American communities.


The Price of Real Change

By Ellen LaPointe, Sandi Clemente McKinley, and Sara Davis

Foundations should provide flexible grants and sufficient overhead funding to cover grantees’ actual costs. The time to lead this movement forward is now.


How Foundations Can End the "Starvation Cycle"

By Andrea Wilson and Hilda Polanco

How can foundations and nonprofits bridge the gap between project funding and actual costs? Foundations need a standardized approach to calculating indirect costs.


How One Nonprofit Prepared for Tough Conversations with Funders

By Josh Solomon and Isa Ballard

Funders can do one simple thing to promote more open conversation with grantees about adequate indirect costs reimbursement: state on their websites and in their grant guidelines their approach to indirect costs.